Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Little Things That Matter Most

Little snippets of sentiment tucked away amidst the papers of Agnes Tully Stevens reveal tiny glimpses of what she saw as beautiful. An old postcard—perhaps passed along to her from her own mother’s papers—captures a stanza from a Rudyard Kipling poem and preserves it within a floral watercolor for future consideration.

Who knows what made the owner stop to treasure this find in some five and dime store. Words? Presentation? Could it be a gift from someone who meant much to the recipient?

The poem itself, called “The Artist’s Heaven” according to an 1899 edition of The American Farmer, contains three stanzas, of which the one quoted below is the conclusion. Holding a thought that doubtless invited Catherine—and, in turn, her daughter—to ponder its meaning, this simple postcard was never employed as messenger. Never marked nor addressed, it claimed a coveted spot among those papers which remained for a century tucked away as a personal treasure.

And only the Master shall praise us, and
only the Master shall blame;
And no one shall work for money, and no one
shall work for fame,
But each for the joy of the working, and each, in his
separate star,
Shall draw the Thing as he sees It for the God
of the Things as They Are!


  1. On the lower right corner it appers to say L (C?) M, 8.

    8? Years old? 1908?

    1. I saw that, too, Iggy, especially when I enlarged the image on photoshop. It appears to be three initials. The first letter is either an "L" with a stylized serif top, or a very angular "C." The middle letter is hard to determine. It may be an "M" but I'm not sold on that thought. The last letter is an "S."

      I'm presuming those would be the initials of the person who created the artwork and calligraphy.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...